Archive for April, 2009

Free Day at the Denver Art Museum

This saturday at the DAM (Denver Art Museum) is free!

Yes, I said FREE!

Target sponsers the free day – first saturday of every month! How cool is that?

Take your family, take yourself, take a date, but check out the cool art that is in the Museum!

Through July they are also showing “The Psychadelic Experience” rock posters from San Francisco from 1965-1971. (this is not part of the free day)

Should be an interesting exhibit, along with all the other art in there!

Women’s Expo This Weekend!

Hey ladies!!
womensexpo

This weekend is the Women’s expo at  the convention center!

What the heck is a women’s expo you ask? I the whole right side of the cenvention center (well it was last time) filled with everything a woman might want.

Tons of samples – last year there were at least 10 different types of chocolate and cookies – omg!

The generic female stuff – purses, shoes, clothes

And speakers!!

2 stages worth

Stage one will feature a line-up of speakers focusing on fitness, fashion and finance while the second stage will spotlight cooking, creative design and crafting.

famous folks like…

  • Style Matters fashion columnists Judie Schwartz and Evelinda Urman will talk about how to wear high style at low prices and trends on what’s hot and what’s not.

  • Shane Tallant, host of HGTV’s Designed to Sell, will lead an interactive and educational seminar on how to make a home stand out from the rest.

And local talent:

  • Barbara Gehring and Linda Klein will present GIRLS ONLY: The Secret Comedy of Women, an original comedy celebrating the honor, truth, humor and silliness of being female.

Financial advice and fitness tips:

  • Financial adviser Wendy Spencer will help women learn how to track where their money goes, find ways to reduce expenses, develop easy savings routines and create a spending plan.

  • Fitness and health expert Dan Polimino will discuss what roles proteins, carbohydrates and fats play in weight gain and weight loss as well as the four little things you can do each day to change your whole outlook on life.

There is also a special Boutique Marketplace, a new offering this year that will showcase products and services created specifically by Colorado-based artisans and businesswomen.

Buy local!

And so much more!

The Colorado Women’s Expo hours are Saturday, April 25, 2009, from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 26, 2009, from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The Colorado Convention Center is located at 700 14th Street, Denver, Colorado, 80202. For more information about the show, please visit

If you are interested in attending there is also an online coupon for $2 off you can use here: http://www.coloradowom…

Successful Karate Tournament in Lakewood

On Saturday, along with a number of other karate students, I braved the weather and the traffic to participate in the 39th Annual 2009 Wa no Kizuna Invitational.  The tournament was held at Jefferson High School at 23rd and Pierce Street in Lakewood, Colorado.

The tournament was hosted by Denwakan Karate, the Wado Karate Federation of USA and Sensei Sadaharu Kurobane.  Sensei Kurobane is an 8th Degree Black Belt in Wado and has been teaching traditional Japanese (Wado) karate in Lakewood, Colorado, since 1970.

The tournament was well attended despite the weather.  In addition to many students who practice karate in Denver, Lakewood, Niwot and Brighton, participants came from as far away as Bloomington, Indiana, and Albuquerque, New Mexico.  In previous years, the tournament has hosted students from as far away as Ireland.

It was a good experience for all of the participants – even though some of us did not perform as well as we would have liked.  And, best of all, there were no serious injuries.

More on the Possible Elimination of the Death Penalty in Colorado

House Bill 1274 – which would repeal the death penalty in Colorado just passed the House by one vote.  Now it is on to the Senate.

The Denver Post wrote about this here.

For a little background on this bill and the national trend to eliminate the death penalty, please see my previous posting on the the possible repeal of the death penalty in Colorado.

So I Hear That Love Heals…

So I haven’t much to say about the current Blizzard Blown Out Of Siberia that the Front Range is currently suffering from, nor about the torrential downpours I hear that Boulder is getting. I’m not actually there at the moment. I boarded a train Monday night for New Orleans via Chicago. At the present moment I’m eating chipotle rubbed ribs at Tomatillo’s on Frenchmen at Esplanade, listening to the feisty crooning of Ingrid Lucia across the street on the Southern Comfort stage by the U.S. Mint.

But y’all are all in my thoughts. Hang in there. Especially y’all working at the Boulder Public Library.

Before I left, I took a picture. Chekkit out.

LOVE HEALS

LOVE HEALS

This is from the sidewalk in the Whole Foods parking lot on Pearl Street across from Target. I’d also seen some on signs pegged into shopfront lawns downtown, which included along with this angular valentine-heart logo a URL: LetLoveHeal.com.

My first thought: “Ah, what a pleasant meme to spread around.” My second: “I really hope it doesn’t turn out to be a come-on for religious proselytizing.”

See, it hadn’t been that long since a co-worker had handed me a “Get out of hell free” card at Christmas. Er, Christmas before last. And the one before that. And the one before… yeah. It wasn’t the jokey sort of card that Pagans like me sometimes flash at obnoxious street preachers. It appeared genuinely unironic, totally for reals, yo. It urged the reader to Learn The Truth Before It’s Too Late, and suggested a URL which, I admit, I never bothered to visit.

Anyway, I was hoping that the URL attached to the LOVE HEALS signs wasn’t going to reveal a similar intent.

And it didn’t. Hooray! Not all positive messages are attached to demands that you change your faith or pay money or whatever. This one meant exactly what it said… love heals.

Literally. Physically.

At the site, you find a Flash animation that resembles a web search form. Pre-entered search keywords cycle through: Friendship. Pets. Life. Romance. Touch. Clicking the arrow button brings you to a page with small red squares constellating around and between these keywords. Hovering over each brings up a quick summary, and clicking brings up the whole story. Each data point supports the site’s central thesis, that feeling cared for and expressing care for others has positive effects on the physical being. In other words, love heals.

As viral marketing campaigns go, this one seems benign, even beneficial. Surely people who believe in the healing power of love will act in ways that form healthy communities. The only thing that boggles my mind is this: Why does the web site employ a trademark symbol? LOVE™? Does this site have an additional, acronymical meaning for the word? Will we find out more when the marketing campaign enters its next phase? Will there be a next phase?

For possible answers to all these questions and more, keep watching the sidewalks around town. I suppose. Once the rain washes all that snow away, of course.

Denver County Jury Duty Tips!

This monday i experienced what Jury Duty in Colorado – specifically Denver County was like.
I have done my time in California but this was my virgin experience here in the Mile High City!

Things to know:

  • Arrive Early! Security for an 8:30 arrival is a nightmare! Plan on arriving closer to 8am to make it through.

There are 3 security stations on the front of the building. No idea which is faster!
The elevators you need are toward the center of the building – head that way.
If you did not head the warning to be early, then push your way into any open elevator!
When you reach floor 4, turn left. The jury room is half way down on the right.
They don’t check id, they just want your filled in survey.
Select a seat – there are no desks, so be prepared to be able to do everything you want to do in your spare time on your lap!

  • Right at 8:35 they start calling juror numbers!

Listen up, it’s like a raffle! They aren’t in order!

  • Bring your calendar for the next month!

Write down any appointment, training, vacation, etc you might have coming up in the next couple weeks if you are pooled to be on a long case!

There was an actual statement in my survey for this pool that said “Jury Duty is a harship” – but basically put down why you might be more different than your neighbor and we’ll see.
I was shocked that that statement was associated with jury duty. Seriously?

  • This is not a strict court system. They don’t remind you to turn off your cell phone. They don’t even make you remove your hat if you are in the presence of a judge.
  • There are criminals being moved around all around you – take care to hug the walls!

Know that they also need to use the rest room – so don’t dilly dally if you don’t want to be face to face or butt to butt with someone in chains attempting to relieve themselves!

  • Bring props – reading, etc. There is down time, your time is not important!
  • During jury selection they ask weird questions – be prepared to grand stand, get all your quirks out there for the DA and Defense Attorney to see and use for selecting or not selecting you. Got some strong opinions, just put it out there. Got issues with family members or friends and their interaction with the courts – tell your story! I was amazed at the candidness of the people around me – 50 of them – whom i have never met and hope to never see again. some i know waaaay to much about!

All in all the judge i had to interact with was very nice, her clerks were great, the trial topic was scary as hell and i’m glad i was excused (that and the fact that a huge financial hardship would have indeed occurred if was on a jury for 2-3 weeks – i only seem to be called for duty when I’m paid hourly… sigh)

Most of all, remember this is your civic duty, and one of the rights we fight for.

Things To Do, April 11: "Ink" Fan Appreciation Event

I know, I know, I’m turning into a one-note blogger here. But how cool is this? How often do you get to see a local, independent film do so well, thanks almost entirely to a monstrous neighborhood buzz, that its run is extended three weeks past its original closing date?

Denver is showing all kinds of love for this Double Edge Films production, and “Ink” will now run through April 16th. So you’ve got a whole week more to see this fantastic film.

John LeBoeuf-Little poses here with Jacob's awesomely steampunkish music box.

John LeBoeuf-Little poses here with Jacob's awesomely steampunkish music box.

In celebration of the film and all the support it’s received, Double Edge Films and the Starz FilmCenter are hosting a special Fan Appreciation Event at the 7:00 PM screening on Saturday, April 11th.

The movie will show as normal, after which there’ll be a 5-minute exclusive behind-the-scenes feature and a Q&A session with the film’s creators. I’m told that, in addition to Jamin and Kiowa Winans of DEF, actor Jeremy Make (“Jacob”) and director of photography Jeff Pointer will be there. There’ll also be a special show-and-tell of props and costumes; if the idea of, say, trying on Ink’s costume tickles your funny-bone, you’ll get your chance Saturday.

(Featured photo: my husband, John, posing with his favoritest Ink prop ever, “Jacob’s box”. Cool, huh? I would not be surprised if this item also put in an appearance Saturday.)

Anyway, this flyer has all the details. Print it out and present it at the box office, and you’ll receive two tickets for the price of one. And as always you can buy tickets online here.

A Lakewood Dental Practice and the Economy

I recently spoke with Dr. Scott Greenhalgh, a dentist in Lakewood who provides cosmetic, sedation and general dentistry services to people throughout the Denver metro area.  I asked Scott what impact he has seen in his practice from the economic downturn.  Here are some of the things he told me:

A significant number of my patients are worried about their companies and their jobs. They are uncertain what is coming next.  Many are concerned about their benefits as some companies are cutting and downgrading benefits including dental benefits.

One of the largest trends in the last few months (November through February) has been that people have changed their appointments more often and more frequently. We have had a somewhat more erratic schedule. Our dental practice has coped by being a bit more flexible in our daily scheduling. In the past, things would have been solid and stable with the schedule for weeks ahead, now sometimes there are daily changes. In March and more recently we have seen a surge of new dental patients. It seems more like people have delayed their work, but are ready to get on with it again.

Many dental patients are looking for a better experience than they had with their last dentist. I regularly hear the same stories of patients having the same disappointments in their previous care — they didn’t explain anything to me, they didn’t fix my problem (I went, I spent a lot of money, but it still hurts…), I felt rushed, no one explained anything to me, they hurt me, they were in a rush…

One of the other trends has been we have a very dedicated base of patients. These people have been working on a master plan to improve their smiles and their bites. They knew already what they needed to do in ’09, set up their flex plans or organized their benefits and are still proceeding with what they need. These patients are not especially overwhelmed with their needs, and know they are making progress  toward their goal.

I can’t say we have seen a major shift in the types of dental procedures we are performing. The people who are prone to problems like toothaches, cavities, etc., still have financial concerns and still are doing patch up dental/emergency care.

With respect to cosmetic dentistry, the analogy I use relates to General Motors new car sales — at one point GM was down 40% in sales. What that means is that 60% of people are still buying new cars. Our practice has chosen not to focus on what is NOT happening, but rather on the 60% of people who are STILL buying new cars – or in our case – cosmetic dentistry work.

We still see a good number of patients coming in with aesthetic needs. Many come from our cosmetic dentistry website.  Many of these respond to testimonials and online reviews from other patients.  These people typically have been thinking about the appearance of their teeth and their smiles for quite some time.  Some people are just looking to whiten their teeth, but many of these new patients want a full smile makeover with porcelain veneers and we are fortunate to have financing options for them to ensure they can afford the smile they have always wanted.

Overall, we expect to grow our practice in 2009 as compared with 2008.  We have made a big commitment to having great staff, good communication, trying to deliver great results, to deliver what customers want, and to try to enhance their experience with us at each interaction. I believe that customer service skills and excellence are paramount in times like these. We are trying more than ever to have a real presence in our patients lives. We feel the commitment back from our patients as well, with many who have had insurance plan changes, still sticking with us. Even people who have moved out of town, continuing their care with us.

I think the best dental patients in the Denver area are out there searching for dentists who will really meet their expectations.

If you have questions for Scott, you can reach him at his Lakewood office – (303) 988-9060.

Real Estate and New Home Construction in Denver

Yesterday I spoke with two of my friends from my Karate Dojo.  One is a realtor and the other owns a new home construction company.  I just wanted to get a feel for how the economy is affecting their businesses.

The realtor told me that he is as busy as ever, but the average closing price is much lower than at this time last year.  Last year, his typical home sale was in the $200,000 – $300,000 range.  This year it is much closer to $100,000.  He says that many of the home buyers are first-time buyers trying to take advantage of the $8,000 stimulus checks being cut by the federal government.

My other friend’s construction business has been at a standstill for the last several months.  He is barely hanging on.  However, he did say that he has a new project beginning in a month.

I plan to keep my ear to the ground and report on what other business owners in the Denver area are telling me about their businesses over the coming weeks and months.

Nuggets Looking Good in Green

Tonight, the NBA decided to highlight their pro-environment position with green uniforms for the Denver Nuggets.  They looked like the Boston Celtics – and some of them played like the Celtics too.

JR Smith looked like Ray Allen of the Celtics as he hit eight three point baskets.

Chris Anderson played like Bill Russell with eight blocked shots.

And Carmelo looked like Paul Pierce with his green headband.

And they won!  They beet the Utah Jazz!

I think they might want to wear green every night.

The Nuggets have now won 50 games for the second straight season – and they are in second place in the Western Conference.  Only behind the Lakers.

With all the bad news we keep hearing from the Avalanche and the Broncos trading away Jay Cutler, it looks like we might have a real basketball teamthis year.  Now, if they can only win a playoff series or two….

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